Crow's Day

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Crow's Day

Submitted by: Yuri Klitsenko

"Crow Day" is rather important female feast in Khanty-Mansi tradition. Crow brings God's gift of menstruation to young ladies and blesses human children. Meanwhile seagull is laughing at humans: "Let human babies die! Let human babies die!"

In Evenki tradition small bird asks Evenki family: "Have your children already died? Have your children already died?" Small bird's question is known to Evenki writer Keptuke:


"Chiu-chiu, chiu chu" the bird sang again. "Chuveki bicha, chiu chi-cha" she then added: "Chuvecki is dead." And that was true too. Barbara knew that Chuvecki had died. But she was amazed at what the bird said next.

"Chiu-cha, ni chepeche?"

Puzzled, Barbara looked at Tanya. Who could have drowned? For the bird had asked who had drowned. The bird repeated the question again and again.

"Chiu-cha, chiu-cha!" the bird chirped. "Ni chepecha? Ni chepecha?" Then it flew away.

"What's that got to do with us?" Barbara said. "Chiu-cha, chiu-cha!" she repeated. "Who drowned? Who drowned?" She got up to go.

Then she thought she heard the question again—Who drowned? Who drowned?—and she knew there must be a reason why the bird had asked ...

[Ed. Note] These are the kinds of folklore and myths that foster the scapegoating of birds and other animals, when in fact, they are innocent of what they are being accused of.